I would like to start by thanking all of our customers that visited us this year. There were many changes to the way we operated this year. I was so happy at the response that you, our customer had during what has turned out to be a really challenging year for all of us. Thank YOU.
I love working in the golf course industry. There is something about how the seasons go that I have really learned to appreciate, and at times suffer through. I grew up “working” for my Parent’s at the golf course. I was probably 14 when they started building it. As a teen I wasn’t the hardest worker. I was more worried about socializing while I was in high school. When I graduated I spent about 7 years in Post Secondary, finally settling on a career with Catholic Social Services. I worked as a Rehab worker in Group Homes, and as a Program Coordinator. I still remember getting the call while sitting in my office at CSS. Mom – “your Dad got hurt at work”. Me – “Oh My God, is he ok?” Mom – “He hurt his leg, got pinned by the tractor”…
From that point on, there was no turning back for me. We had just built our back 9 and my Dad was superintendent, so while he was laid up I took a leave in order to help my family out. The leave turned into a resignation and the rest is history. Over the years I became more involved as our Superintendent as well as the General Manager. As I stepped forward more, Mom and Dad saw they could trust me to take the reigns. I am currently the GM and we have hired Aidan Fitzgerald, a very smart man who knows his stuff, to be our Superintendent. I am very thankful for Aidan as it allows me to focus more on doing the things I love about the job – the people.
I have spoke about the challenges of working in a family run business. In my experience there are good and bad that come with it. In my family, my Dad had a hard time accepting a change in the balance of power. Don’t get me wrong, this is his baby, he is the creator and owner of our Summer Playground. That is why I took 1 minute to find a diplomatic way of writing what I did 2 sentences ago. haha. But there are also benefits. I feel that now I can pay my parents back for all the crap that I put them through growing up. By taking care of their legacy I am trying to honor their vision, their dream.
This year at Dorchester Ranch Golf Course, I learned that I should not be a course marshal. I should have known this from stories I hear about my Dad yelling at people jacking around on carts or kicking people off the course. There was a 50 year old gentleman recently who sheepishly came into the clubhouse. He seemed nervous and when I started talking to him he had been kicked off the course by dad 25 years ago for abusing golf carts. This gentleman is now a teacher and is older than I am. He was worried that my Dad may recognize him and give him a “blast”. As a business owner it is hard to not take damage to property or business personally. This year I found myself following in my Dad’s footsteps in not a good way, so I retired myself from Marshalling. If something goes south I tend to get angry and odds are I will say or do something that I will regret, so I will leave it to the professionals.
By having a small family business, your entire life plays out on a stage. The good, bad, and ugly all on display for everyone to see. Its not all bad though. Most people are respectful and genuinely good people. My entire family feels so lucky to have met the people we have. The memories and bonds that we have formed will last a lifetime.
I’m going to tell you a story about my Dad and I. I feel I have to qualify what I’m about to say because if you don’t know me or my Dad, you may not realize that hours or day’s later we could laugh about these things that happen. I had a plan, we were verticutting and topdressing greens. We had 2 sets of reels, a dull set and a mostly sharp set. We don’t have a grinder so we hire our sharpening out and it can be quite expensive to sharpen reels. My plan was to verticut and cut with our decent set of reels as to not dull them too bad then top-dress, brush, water, and put the dull reels on the greens mower for the next couple cuts. Hoping to get the sharp ones on by the weekend. All I remember is Dad drove up to 11 green in his cart while I was verticutting or topdressing. I had a plan, everyone knew the plan, and it was going good. He wanted to change the plan. We got to arguing and I jumped on the front of his cart so he wouldn’t drive away. He floored it and I slipped off landing on my back. KA-THUNK KA-THUNK was the noise the tires of the cart made as they ran over my legs. I lay there for a moment in shock looking at the cart speeding away, my Dad looking back at me with a sly smile on his face. I cannot help but find some humor in this as I tell this story. No one got hurt. It is a funny memory. Sometimes though, I wonder if the guy on 13 Blue tee saw what happened…